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NU beats Michigan, cards first Big Ten win
EVANSTON, Ill. -- On a night with so many distinguished alumni of Northwestern wrestling in the seats at Welsh-Ryan Arena, the current Wildcats gutted out a remarkable 20-16 victory over Michigan Sunday for their first Big Ten dual win of the season. The win put the finishing touches on a special evening on which NU honored Tim Cysewski, who coached his final dual as head coach after 20 years in that role. Despite being challenged much of the season by a lineup depleted by injuries, Northwestern battled to the end for Cysewski on Sunday, winning four individual bouts by three points or less to claw out the dual win. Cysewski, who next season will make the move to the role of associate head coach at NU, ends his head coaching tenure as the winningest coach in program history with 155 dual victories. The evening featured a rousing ceremony during intermission to honor Cysewski, which featured appearances from former Northwestern All-Americans Jack Griffin, Mike Funk, Brad Traviolia and Dustin Fox. Sunday's match began with the heavyweight bout, where Michigan's Ben Apland posted an 11-2 major decision of NU's Marcus Shrewsbury. After missing five weeks with a broken hand, NU's Robert Joyce returned for a battle at 125 pounds with Michigan's Sean Boyle. Joyce was credited with a takedown in the opening minute before the officials deemed that he did not in fact have enough control for the two. Boyle took a 2-1 lead into the second period and went ahead 4-1 on an escape and penalty point before Joyce notched his first takedown of the match to pull within 4-3. Joyce quickly escaped to start the third and got around for a takedown with 1:30 to go in the match, claiming a 6-4 lead that he protected by riding out the match, tacking on a riding time point to win 7-4. The victory was the first Big Ten dual victory of Joyce's career. At 133, Eric Metzler came back from a 2-0 deficit against Zac Stevens by turning a single-leg into a double for two points. With Metzler leading 4-3, Stevens caught Metzler in a headlock that he held on to for four near-fall points, breaking open a 9-4 lead. But Metzler was determined to make the most of his Senior Day and went on a tear of takedowns, getting in on Stevens' legs at will to take a 13-12 lead. A penalty point against Stevens gave Metzler a 14-12 decision and his 12th victory of the season. The action remained fast and furious in the 141-pound bout, where Levi Mele wrestled up two weight classes from his usual 125-pound spot to take on Michigan's Mark Weber. Weber held a 5-3 edge late in the contest when Mele went in for a takedown, bringing the NU faithful to their feet. Mele fed off their energy in the sudden victory period, getting the winning takedown just 20 seconds into the match and improving to 3-4 in Big Ten action for his freshman season. Andrew Nadhir came up big for Northwestern (6-12-1, 1-7) by winning by technical fall at 149 pounds against Mark Boyer. Nadhir put on a clinic, going in for one takedown after another to give Northwestern critical bonus points in the team score. Following the intermission, Michigan pulled within 14-7 thanks to a decision by Dave Johnson over Kevin Bialka at 157 pounds. But Northwestern picked right back up after that with a riveting win at 165 by Robert Kellogg, who defeated Aaron Hynes 4-2 for his second Big Ten win of the season. NU's final crucial win came courtesy of Brian Roddy, Jr. at 174, who came from behind to knock off Justin Zeerip. Zeerip came into the match with a season record of 25-16. Roddy's fourth Big Ten victory this year gave NU an insurmountable 20-7 team lead with two matches remaining. Michigan (4-15, 0-8) claimed wins in both of those matches but it was too little too late as the Wildcats held on for a most memorable victory. Northwestern is now off from competition for the next two weeks before heading to the Big Ten Championships March 6-7 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Northwestern 20, Michigan 16 285: Ben Apland (MI) Maj. Dec. Marcus Shrewsbury (NU), 11-2 (MI 4, NU 0) 125: Robert Joyce (NU) dec. Sean Boyle (MI), 7-4 (MI 4, NU 3) 133: Eric Metzler (NU) dec. Zac Stevens (MI), 14-12 (NU 6, MI 4) 141: Levi Mele (NU) dec. Mark Weber (MI), 7-5 (SV) (NU 9, MI 4) 149: Andrew Nadhir (NU) Tech Fall Mark Boyer (MI), 20-5 (5:25) (NU 14, MI 4) 157: Dave Johnson (MI) dec. Kevin Bialka (NU), 11-6 (NU 14, MI 7) 165: Robert Kellogg (NU) dec. Aaron Hynes (MI), 4-2 (NU 17, MI 7) 174: Brian Roddy, Jr. (NU) dec. Justin Zeerip (MI), 8-3 (NU 20, MI 7) 184: Hunter Montoya (MI) FALL Aaron Jones (NU), 2:20 (NU 20, MI 13) 197: #8 Anthony Biando (MI) dec. John Schoen (NU), 8-1 (NU 20, MI 16)Digg | Del.icio.us | Reddit | Newsvine | Email | Print
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